Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pretty Brown Babies

So, it not-at-all-predictably transpires that Madonna’s latest fashion accessory is not an orphan at all, but has parents – a father, at least – who is outsourcing his son in order to provide him with what he obviously hopes is a better chance in life than he would get in his own AIDS-ravaged, poverty-stricken village in Malawi.
"I am the father of David, who has been adopted. I am very, very happy because as you can see there is poverty in this village and I know he will be very well looked after in America,” he has been quoted as saying.
If you can think of a single statement that more depressingly illustrates how rich westerners trample over the needs and rights of people in the developing world and call it “charity”, I’d love to hear it.

Same thing happened to the First Lady of Baby Buying, Ms Jolie, when she went shopping for the second addition to her “Rainbow Family” in Ethiopia. It soon emerged that the aesthetically pleasing child she had carefully selected was not, in fact, conveniently parentless. Still, that story soon handily disappeared, to be replaced by the “selfless act of charity, helping our needy brown brothers” line to which she is now obstinately sticking.

Interesting that, rather than approaching any one of the slightly closer to home London Boroughs, from where she could have had her pick of extremely needy children struggling their way through the care system, Madonna decided to take her charitable cause to Malawi, which has a ban on adoptions from overseas*.
(*NB: Ban is negotiable for the famous and wealthy. Bring a cheque book.)

Well, that’s understandable, isn’t it? Poor and desperate is one thing, but kids with possible emotional problems? Don’t be ridiculous. Madonna hasn’t the time for that, what with needing to dress up like a chicken breast in a leotard and strap herself to an oh-so-controversial cross and everything. Far better to secure oneself a wide-eyed little orphan Annie and have the nanny teach it English.
By the time it starts suffering the well-documented cultural and familial dislocation experienced by such kids - that Madge and her kind are choosing to ignore in the name of trend-setting - or god forbid, realises that it was sold into a "better life", it'll be years later, and as a celebrity child, it'll have so many problems with champagne and crack by that point that nobody will notice.

Handily for Madonna, however, the child appears to have already been given a name that she finds acceptable (David, apparently).
Not so for poor old Meg Ryan. When she bought a one year old a while back, the child was saddled with a thoroughly non-celebrity moniker, which she was then obliged to alter to Charlotte. Not cutsie enough, it would seem: Charlotte was rebranded a few months later when Meg got tired of her original choice. "I already had to change her name. I thought she was a Charlotte and she's just not, she's a Daisy." (Not just a global marketing initiative as it was when Opal Fruits tragically underwent a metomorphosis and took on the horribly bland US title, Starburst.)
That’s that explained, then.

No comments: